Sean Clifford Passing Chart (Buffalo): Efficient Performance Leads the Way

By Nick Polak on September 9, 2019 at 10:00 am
Sep 7, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) drops back in the pocket during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bulls at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Buffalo 45-13.
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
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Welcome back to the Sean Clifford passing chart. Each week we'll show you Clifford's chart from the most recent game, as well as his cumulative stats for the season. There may be a few differences here and there from the stat lines you see on ESPN, Sports Reference, or elsewhere, but we'll try to make sure to explain each of those differences below. Distances on the far left denote how many yards the ball traveled in the air.

Sean Clifford had an uneven start in week one against Idaho. He missed several throws that led to a slow start for the Nittany Lions. That was not the case in week two; Clifford was outstanding against Buffalo.

Clifford Passing Chart (Buffalo)
  LEFT MIDDLE RIGHT TOTALS
20+ YARDS 1/2
45 yds
-
-
-
-
-
-
2/3
84 yds
2 TD
1 drop
3/5
129 yds
2 TD
1 drop
10-19 YARDS 0/1
-
-
1 drop
3/5
56 yds
TD
-
-
-
-
-
3/6
56 yds
TD
1 drop
0-9 YARDS 4/4
38 yds
-
-
1/1
7 yds
-
-
2/3
23 yds
-
1 drop
7/8
68 yds
-
1 drop
BEHIND L.O.S. 1/1
28 yds
TD
-
2/2
-2 yds
-
-
-
-
-
-
3/3
26 yds
TD
-
TOTALS 6/8
111 yds
TD
1 drop
6/8
61 yds
TD
-
4/6
107 yds
2 TD
2 drops
16/22
279 yds
4 TD
3 drops
  • 2-man rush: 1/1, 9 yards
  • 4-man rush: 10/16, 225 yards, 3 touchdowns, 3 drops
  • 5-man rush: 3/3, 10 yards
  • 6+ man rush: 2/2, 35 yards, 1 touchdown
  • 1st Down: 9/12, 175 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 drop
  • 2nd Down: 3/3, 44 yards, 1 touchdown
  • 3rd Down: 3/6, 32 yards, 2 drops
  • 4th Down: 1/1, 28 yards, 1 touchdown

**ADJUSTED COMPLETION PERCENTAGE: 86.4%

  • As mentioned at the top, Clifford was excellent when throwing the ball on Saturday. Of his six incompletions, three of them were drops by KJ Hamler. Yes, I counted the deep one as a drop. I know it would have been a tough catch, but he had both hands on the ball and it hit him in the stomach. One of them was broken up on a really nice play by a Buffalo defensive back, one was an overthrow, and one was uncatchable. By comparison, there were three passes I deemed uncatchable due to poor throws by Clifford in week one (there were a few others but they constituted missed PI calls and throwaways).
  • The Penn State passing game continues to excel on first down. Clifford is now 21/27 with 440 yards and 4 touchdowns on first down.
  • Clifford improved on third down in this one. Still plenty of improvement to make, but 3/6 is totally fine, especially when you consider that there were two drops (though one of those was the Hamler deep ball, which would have been called back due to an offensive holding anyway).
  • Clifford's gaze was far more focused this week. Only four players registered a target at the end of Clifford's throws. All four grabbed at least one catch, however.
  • After two weeks, Clifford is on pace for 3,354 passing yards, 648 rushing yards, 36 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. These stats will surely hold.
  • On a more serious note, though, this week's pass breakup was the first time Clifford has come even remotely close to being picked off. There still is a lot to work through, but he's doing a lot of great things already.
  • The incompletion stats for the week...
    • 3 drops
    • 1 broken up pass
    • 2 overthrows
Clifford Passing Chart (Season)
  LEFT MIDDLE RIGHT TOTALS
20+ YARDS 1/2
45 yds
-
-
2/3
72 yds
TD
-
3/4
105 yds
3 TD
1 drop
6/10
222 yds
4 TD
1 drop
10-19 YARDS 1/3
20 yds
-
-
5/8
95 yds
TD
-
1/1
14 yds
-
-
7/12
129 yds
TD
1 drop
0-9 YARDS 8/9
95 yds
-
-
2/4
33 yds
-
1 batted pass
3/5
48 yds
-
2 drops
13/18
176 yds
-
2 drops
1 batted pass
BEHIND L.O.S. 1/1
28 yds
TD
-
2/2
-2 yds
-
-
1/1
16 yds
-
-
4/4
42 yds
TD
-
TOTALS 11/16
188 yds
TD
1 drop
11/17
198 yds
2 TD
1 batted pass
8/12
183 yds
3 TD
3 drops
30/45
569 yds
6 TD
4 drops
1 batted pass
1 throwaway
  • 2-man rush: 1/1, 9 yards
  • 4-man rush: 18/29, 400 yards, 5 touchdowns, 3 drops, 1 throwaway
  • 5-man rush: 9/12, 127 yards, 1 drop, 1 batted pass
  • 6+ man rush: 2/3, 35 yards, 1 touchdown
  • 1st Down: 21/27, 440 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 drop, 1 throwaway
  • 2nd Down: 5/8, 71 yards, 1 touchdown 1 drop, 1 batted pass
  • 3rd Down: 3/8, 32 yards, 2 drops
  • 4th Down: 1/2, 28 yards, 1 touchdown

**ADJUSTED COMPLETION PERCENTAGE: 79.1%

**Adjusted Completion Percentage Explanation

Being that the idea of this is to find out how accurate Clifford actually is, his adjusted completion percentage is calculated by removing some externals. The formula is as follows:

Adjusted Completion Percentage = (Completions + Drops) / (Pass Attempts - Spikes - Throwaways - Batted Balls - Balls disrupted by a QB hit)

I am iffy on excluding batted balls because blame for those is equally shared between the offensive line and the quarterback, in my opinion, but since we just want to see how accurate he's been in terms of hitting his receivers, we'll take it out.

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